Category Archives: UNESCO Finland

Finland – UNESCO – Verla Groundwood and Board Mill

The Verla groundwood and board mill and its associated residential area is an outstanding, remarkably well-preserved example of the small-scale rural industrial settlements associated with pulp, paper and board production that flourished in northern Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Only a handful of such settlements survive to the present day.

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Finland – UNESCO WHS – Struve Geodetic Arc

The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. It is an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points. The listed site includes 34 of the original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled hole in rock, iron cross, cairns, or built obelisks.

(whc.unesco.org)

Finland – Petäjävesi Old Church

The Petäjävesi Old Church  is a wooden church located in Petäjävesi, Finland. It was inscribed in 1994 on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was built between 1763 and 1765. The clock tower that has been built in 1821 is connected to it. UNESCO considered it to be a representative Lutheran church of the Scandinavian tradition, mixing Renaissance with older Gothic architectural elements.

Finland – Old Rauma

Old Rauma (Finnish: Vanha Rauma) is the wooden city centre of the town of Rauma, Finland. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The area of Old Rauma is about 0.3 km², with approximately six hundred buildings (counting both proper houses and smaller buildings like sheds) and about 800 people living in the area. The town of Rauma expanded outside the Old Rauma proper only in the early 19th century. The oldest buildings date from the 18th century, as two fires of 1640 and 1682 destroyed the town. Most buildings are currently inhabited and owned by private individuals, although along the two main streets and around the town square they are mainly in business use.

Locations of special interest include the Kirsti house, which is a seaman’s house from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the Marela house, which is a shipowner’s house dating to the 18th century but with a 19th century facade, both of which are currently museums. Other sights include the rare stone buildings of the Old Rauma: the Church of the Holy Cross, an old Franciscan monastery church from the 15th century with medieval paintings and the old town hall from 1776. Another church in Rauma, the Church of the Holy Trinity, also from the 15th century, burned in the fire of 1640.

 

Finland – Suomenlinna Fortress

 

Suomenlinna, until 1918 Viapori (Finnish), or Sveaborg (Swedish), is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands (Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari, Iso-Mustasaari, Pikku-Mustasaari, Länsi-Mustasaari and Långören), and which now forms part of the city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

In 1747 the Swedish Diet made a decision to fortify the eastern border and to establish a place d’armes on islands outside Helsinki. France, with which Sweden had a military alliance, financed a great part of the construction during the first decades.

Sveaborg was the largest construction project in Sweden in the 18th century. It was constructed under the supervision and direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Augustin Ehrensvard, assisted by the best Swedish engineering and mechanics experts. The fortress was constructed by soldiers in the regular army from all over Sweden and Finland. At its height, the construction crew totalled more than 6500. When Ehrensvard died in 1772, the fortress was virtually ready for use. The overall plan was revisecf in 1774.

European power politics also determined Sveaborg’s fate. In the war of 1808-1809, which was a direct consequence of the treaties between Napoleon and Alexander I, Russia occupied Finland. Sveaborg surrendered and became a Russian garrison for the following 110 years. At the turn of the century there were about 4000 Russian soldiers in Sveaborg. The fortress remained in the state it had been under Swedish rule until the bombings during the Crimean War in 1855, when the British and French Navies ·fired on the fort. In the repairs and modernisation , undertaken after .that, some of the damaged buildings were torn down or made lower and a new coastal defence line of earth banks was constructed.

Before the First World War, Sveaborg, mainly serving as a depot area, formed part of the defence scheme, “Peter the Great’s Sea Fortress”. The intention was that Sveaborg, together with Tallinn, would block off the entire Gulf of Finland and guarantee the security of St Petersburg, the Capital of Russia. After Finland became independent in 1917, Sveaborg became a Finnish garrison and was renamed in Finnish as Suomenlinna. It served as a prison camp after the Civil War in 1918-1919. Suomenlinna was in military use for the last time during the Second World War when it served as one of Helsinki’s air surveillance centres. It served as a garrison until 1972. Its use for tourism and recreation began on a larger scale after 1963 .